After reading the play version of George Orwell�s 1984, though altered to fit the stage, I was amazed how I could draw parallel lines that tied to Bradbury�s Fahrenheit 451. Written only 4 years before Bradbury�s, Orwell created a similar totalitarian society set in a war zone of the future where government manipulates literature, history and language as a means of control to create a society where nothing is ever questioned and all is accepted. Bradbury�s firemen is to Orwell�s �Thought Police�, and instead of burning books, they punish those who commit �crimethink�, or, any thought that opposes that of their dictator, Big Brother. Telescreens are in every room, much like parlors, only they broadcast the Big Brother�s propaganda. The slow elimination of vocabulary and rewriting of novels in the provincial �thoughtspeak� provides slim opportunities to communicate individuality and independent thought. Orwell ends 1984 with the main character, after evaluating understanding his fixed role in a disordered society, submitting to Big Brother and the government.
Even if you have not read 1984, would you think it possible that Bradbury modeled his novel after Orwell�s themes of manipulation, control, literary destruction and absolutism? Did Bradbury feel he needed to write something of the same power and degree, only have the main character triumph over self and society?
Orwell published "1984" in 1948.
Bradbury published "Bright Phoenix" (precursor to "Farenheit 451") in 1947.
Whether either knew of the other's work, perhaps Mr. B could tell us?
Orwell originally meant for 1984 to be named 1964 - because the books was 90% complete by 1946.
Reviving this very old thread to alert Orwell fans to some current BBC Radio programming about him; a season called "The Real George Orwell". It includes a dramatised reading of ANIMAL FARM and a dramatisation of HOMAGE TO CATALONIA.
Details here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pyz0z
Radio shows are usually available to listen to on the website for 7 days after broadcast, and can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Deputy Moderator. Visit my Bradbury website: http://www.bradburymedia.co.uk
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